Workshop examines financial decision support systems

Financial decision support systems put under the microscope at Cass workshop.

The Centre for Research on Corporate Governance (CRCG) at Cass Business School recently held a one-day workshop on the future development of financial decision support systems (FDSS).

The workshop provided an informative discussion about the impact of financial decision support systems on risk-taking and examined how the user experience can be further improved.

The workshop was well-received among participants and it was agreed that further events bringing together developers and users of FDSS should be organised. The workshop also demonstrated the benefit of creating a community for an exchange of knowledge and views regarding FDSS.

New insights were generated into what kind of unintended consequences can be anticipated in both designing and using a FDSS.  Bringing together a group of experts involved in FDDS and academics from Cass Business School underlined the School’s focus on practitioner oriented research.

The workshop was convened by Mr Mathias Hetzel, PhD Fellow in Strategy and Corporate Governance under the direction of Professor Igor Filatotchev, Professor of Corporate Governance and Strategy, and the Head of CRCG. The workshop was facilitated by Mr. Hetzel and Dr Nasir Hussain, a Cass alumnus (EMBA 2005-2007) and decision support modeller at the Department of Health.

Professor Igor Filatotchev commented: “The workshop involved practitioners from a wide spectrum of companies, reflecting Cass Business School’s focus on blending cutting-edge theory with practical implications.”

This workshop is part of a larger PhD research project that aims to identify the risks and unintended consequences connected to the growing adoption of financial decision support systems.

There were several outcomes and follow up actions:

  1. The use by academics and platform developers of novel research tools such as Problem Structuring Methods from Operational Research to tackle complex issues with significant amount of uncertainty
  2. The design of a morphological analytical model which will be further analysed by the workshop participants and facilitators over the coming months
  3. New insights about the system's purpose including risk reduction, cost savings and efficiencies, portfolio optimisation, decision support and adherence to regulatory requirements.
  4. Identification of potential risks: herding behaviour, cyclical behaviour, and over- reliance on the system
  5. Current challenges in the design and implementation of FDSS such as data cleansing and transformation, proving reliability, stress testing, selecting the right data, usability, and the governance of system build.

Workshop participants included:

  • Shelley Doorey-Williams, Head of Wealth Planning & Sales Management at UBS Wealth Management, Cass MBA alumnus
  • Craig Gibbons, CTO at Alpima Ltd, Cass MBA alumnus
  • Graham Harrison, Managing Director at Asset Risk Consultants Limited
  • Vesko Karadjov, Technology Analyst at Citi
  • Thomas Martin, Global Lead, Wealth & Asset Management Investment & Risk Solutions at IBM
  • Jonathan Miles Baker, Product Manager, Simudyne
  • Kaylash Patel, Head of Client Services at Dataminr, Inc.

Academics from Cass Business School who attended included:

  • Professor Charles Baden-Fuller, Centenary Professor of Strategy at Cass Business School
  • Professor Laure Cabantous, Professor of Strategy and Organization
  • Professor Igor Filatotchev, Professor of Corporate Governance and Strategy

Following the success of this workshop, further events will be organised.